If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know me to be a reader. I love to read, I love getting inspired by others, learning from others and seeking to better myself and my walk with Christ by reading what other Christians have written.
I not only enjoy good strong Christian books, but I also deeply enjoy fiction, fantasy and Sci-Fi as well…so there is a good mix here.
Below are the 23 books that hit me this past year. Some are Super amazing, others are just fantastic for the genre they represent. Enjoy!
P.S. These are in order as I read them during the year, not of how much I like them…
1. Luke 9:51-24:53- Darrel Bock
Even though this is a commentary, I felt compelled to share it because of it’s readability and narrative type flow. It is book two in a series on Luke and I have read both commentaries and find myself very grateful for having read them!
2. Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code- Chand
This book unveils the truth about how every church has a certain type of culture. How do you figure the culture out and either replicate it or change it? Great book for church leaders.
3. Reclaiming Christianity- A.W. Tozer
This is Tozer at his best, where in short essays he compels the reader to rethink how they live out their Christian life and to come closer to the power of the Spirit.
4. King’s Cross- Tim Keller
This is a narrative commentary on the book of Mark. It is a great book full of rich story and compelling interaction with the Scriptures. It reads like a book but contains content like a commentary, great book to read as a companion to your study of the book of Mark.
5. The Next Christians- Gabe Lyon
This book challenged me greatly on how I am ministering to young adults. I wrote a full write up on it here: http://youthmaster.blogspot.com/2011/04/next-christians.html
6. Man, the Dwelling Place of God- AW Tozer
Just love anything Tozer. This was a good, essay type book on God’s indwelling us and yielding ourselves to His direction.
7. The Christian Atheist- Craig Groeschel
Craig has gotten better and better each book I read of his. This one hits some hard points on how many of us Christians are living our lives saying we are Christ followers, but in reality we are living as if he doesn’t exist.
8. Unleashed- Erwin McManus
POWERFUL book on allowing God to lead us back to our Warrior/Barbarian roots of fighting for the faith and being unafraid of going out into the battle field the way God leads us. I got this e-book for free, but would have paid full price for it! Great stuff.
9. Generous Justice- Timothy Keller
Timothy Keller is another author I just love to read. This book was deep and very practical for any Christian seeking to reach out with Justice. I was challenged in this book and hope to put some of the challenges into practice.
10. On the Verge Church- Hirsch and Ferguson
I read this long book in two plane rides. It is a great book on church planting and changing church to be what God desires it to be and what the world needs it to be in order for more people to come to faith. I think these guys got it right on and I will definitely be using a ton of their ideas in the future.
11. Born After Midnight- A.W. Tozer
I love Tozer…I just do. This book was another great, challenging Tozer book that I recommend to anyone.
12. For The City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel- Patrick and Carter
This was an incredible book about being a light and church for the city rather than an intrinsically focused country club. These guys attack many self-serving Christians (and pastors) and challenge the reader to go out and be a light rather than stay in and keep the light hidden.
13. Church Planter- Darrin Patrick
This book goes through the things a Church Planter (and any pastor in my mind) needs in order to be successful. It really is also a book on Biblical Manhood and how we need to be led by God in all we do as men. I was deeply challenged by this book and hope to read it again in 2012 to refresh myself on the lessons God taught me.
14. Love is an Orientation- Andrew Marin
BEST BOOK for anyone who is looking to reach out to the gay community. I was shocked at how practical and informational this book was. I also realized how I had been approaching the subject pretty wrong and for a long time. I know for a fact I will be re-reading this book over and over again. Plus, the DVD and participants guide came out recently and I WILL be buying that too!
15. Fatherless Generation- John Sowers
Many young men and women that I work with and have worked with struggle with Fatherlessness, this short but powerful book is a great tool to help you the teacher and them the student to walk through the pain this brings.
16. You Lost Me- Kinnaman
Fantastic, statistical analysis about the “being lost” epidemic that seems to be happening with this current gen of young adults. I read this one slow to soak it not just the numbers, but the repercussions of such stats. This book will help those of us working with young adults understand the situation and adapt the way we do ministry. HIGHLY RECOMMEND
17. The Kane Chronicles (Two Books)- Rick Riordan
This is the same author of the Percy Jackson Series and Heroes of Olympus series, both of which I have read. This series is good, fun reading similar to the other series Rick has done. If you like fantasy, chances are you will like this series!
18. Worlds Apart- Chuck Bomar
Desire to understand the 18-25 year old mind a little better? Then read this book. It’s helpful, and very informative as to what is going on in the minds of today’s young generation. It is a good start for anyone who is looking to work with Young Adults
19. Dangers Lines in the Deeper Life- A.B. Simpson
Excellent book on things to watch for in the Deeper Life. A.B. Simpson was a deeply Spirit led man who writes with a passion rarely seen today.
20. The Skin Map- Stephen R. Lawhead
21. The Bone House- Stephen R. Lawhead
Skin Map and Bone House are two books in the same series, but both are individual, so I listed them separately. I have read and own every Stephen Lawhead book published (except his kids books) and he is an excellent fantasy/sci-fi author. This series is a new series on a form of time travel that is chock full of time study, romance, intrigue, mystery and action. I couldn’t put these books down and am eagerly awaiting the conclusion of this series! Like sci-fi and fantasy? Read Lawhead.
22. Jesus in the Book of Joshua- A.B. Simpson
A GREAT commentary on Joshua, filled with explanations of Jesus throughout showing that Jesus was being shown all through this book and the life of Joshua. I got this on Kindle for $.99 and am blown away at how amazing it is for such a low price.
23. The Hunger Games Series (Three Books)- Suzanne Collins
This series is how I ended my Christmas break. Everyone has been talking about it and the movie coming in March pushed me to read them now. I must say, I didn’t know what to expect but really liked this story. It was rich character development (which in todays books isn’t as highly prized as it was before), it was deeply layered with meanings for today’s system of government and felt like a modern day Brave New World or 1984…both books of which I love. I recommend reading this series because it’s pretty good stuff.
Well, that’s it. I read tons of books this year, but these are the shining stars of 2011 for me. I have a huge stack ready to go for 2012, but if you have any suggestions, please let me know, because I am a GEEK and I love to read! Let me know also, if you’ve read some of these and agree/disagree with me, because I love to talk about the books and stories I read as well as read them!